Was Pakistan a British creation?
In 1947, India was not expected to survive as a nation
The furore in BJP camp in India, triggered by L K Advani’s recent remarks about Jinnah being a secular person and yet founder of Pakistan, seems to have subsided. What is real, historical truth? Recently unsealed British top-secret archives provide a stunningly different version of what really happened during cataclysmic partition, in 1947, of India into three separate and distinct entities.
Prior to India’s independence, it was widely believed that India was not likely to survive as an independent nation. The Muslim League dreamt of restoring Muslim political dominance in India and did not originally envisage a partition of country into independent Muslim states. The Leaguers, in fact, felt that Partition would mean that Muslim power would get withdrawn to two distant corners of subcontinent…considered by many an embarrassing retreat for Islam, which enjoyed 800 years of conquest. Since Muslims were nearly 40 per cent of population of pre-partition British India and non-Muslims were fragmented into innumerable faiths and castes, concept of re-establishing some degree of Muslim dominance and control over entire subcontinent seemed enticingly possible.
According to widely accepted notions, in India and Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah was architect of Pakistan. Actually, it was British who threatened to conduct a referendum in every province of subcontinent and it was Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhai Patel who surrendered to pressure, setting stage for Lord Mountbatten, British Viceroy of India, to formally propose Partition Plan and get Congress and Muslim League to accept it. On February 20, 1947, British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, announced that “Britain might have to consider handing over power to existing provincial governments”. This left Congress with no choice but to accept partition.
At that time, very few persons imagined that India would not only survive but actually flourish as one of world’s strongest and longest lasting democracies and that Sardar Patel, “Iron Man of India” would succeed in orchestrating almost unimaginable task of so swiftly and decisively integrating over 600 former princely states into Indian Union, at time of Independence, in 1947.